Yeah, we get it, people use Facebook and Twitter, and the smart ones are successfully marketing themselves using these and other online platforms.
Plenty of actors are promoting their various projects online – theatre shows, short films, whatever – but how well are they doing so and what impact does it have on their personal brand and career?
One of the scenarios I see quite often, which I think is a mistake, is actors creating fan pages specifically for themselves. Now, unless you’re an established actor with some level of celebrity, who do you think is going to ‘like’ the page? What you’ll end up doing is asking your friends to like your fan page, and there’s really no point. You’ve already got a relationship with your existing Facebook friends, what you want to be doing is extending your reach.
If you’re going to relationship build on Facebook, organisation of your personal account is key. You don’t need to create another account called “Joe Bloggs (Actor)”, nor do you need your own fan page. What you do need is a bit of time, but once you’re in the swing of things it’ll become second nature.
Facebook now allows you to personalise what each new friend you add sees in terms of the content you publish (statuses, photos, comments, likes etc) through the ‘lists’ feature. What does this mean? It allows you to separate your industry contacts from your actual friends and family, so for example you can target a status update inviting people to see your show only to your ‘Actor/Writer/Director’ list. It also means you can add your industry contacts without fear of them seeing your recent holiday pics of you partying in Thailand.
Spend the time creating some friend lists and reap the rewards.
Secret Facebook tip: If you become a ‘Facebook developer’ (it’s free) you’ll get access to new features earlier than everyone else, and can adapt quicker to changes in the platform. Currently I can ‘highlight’ every status I publish, meaning more of my acquaintances are seeing my updates.
For the last two months I’ve been experimenting with my own personal brand as an actor and working hard to establish and build relationships online. It’s been an intriguing journey so far, one that I’d like to share, via the power of dot points. Consider this my way of being a triple threat actor.
- Twitter. It’s massive in the building of new relationships with fellow actors, casting studios, directors, writers, producers, film students – whoever! Get in now while actors are only beginning to utilize this tool (we creatives are a little behind) and have conversations with these industry folk. I’ve got my headshot as my display picture which I think is key to my personal branding.
- YouTube. I say it far too often; if you don’t have a showreel you’re selling yourself short. It’s the same principal here. I’ve been cast solely from my showreel, and it’s publicly available on YouTube, along with a collection of projects I’ve been involved in and some scenework. It’s all cleanly organised on my channel. My display picture is the same as it is on Twitter, and the background is the same one I’ve used across my Twitter and website.
- Website. Crucial I feel, for googleability. If someone searches “Matt Greenlaw” the top search result is my website. Why is this important? It means I’m in control of what web searchers are viewing when they search my name. Your website should be simple to navigate and cleanly styled.
As I say I’m in the early stages of this online personal branding revolution myself, so am not professing that if you do this you’ll have a career of Hemsworth proportions – Chris, that is. But it definitely can’t hurt.